From assessment to teaching

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
Key indicators of children's levels of attainment adapted from national curriculum English writing level descriptions - and teaching emphases to help move children on to the next level

WORKING TOWARDS LEVEL 1

Major teaching emphases

* demonstrate the connection between spoken and written language, including the one-to-one correspondence of spoken and written words * demonstrate a range of uses of writing as a medium of communication * encourage children to talk about their experiences * encourage experimental and role-play writing * help children relate written symbols to the sounds they represent * teach the formation of letter shapes alongside their sounds, joining letters as soon as possible * in reading, focus on the way print works (concepts and conventions) * talk about letters, words and sentences * help children see how texts are composed in sentences (including full stops) * help children build lists of high-frequency words from their reading and writing

Level 1 Writing

Key Indicators

The writer

* communicates meaning through simple words and phrases * (through reading or writing) shows awareness of how full stops are used * usually shapes letters correctly * usually orientates letters correctly Major teaching emphases

* model narrative and non-narrative writing, and draw attention to organisational and linguistic differences between them * develop awareness that writing is purposeful and audiences vary * talk about the differences between spoken and written language * discuss the selection of words to enhance meaning * when reading and writing, draw attention to the development of ideas through a sequence of sentences (including capital letters and full stops) * through teaching of reading and spelling, alert children to common sound-symbol relationships (including letter-strings) * continue to teach handwriting, focusing on regularity of size and the joining of commonly-used irregular words and common phonetic units

Level 2 Writing

Key Indicators

The writer

* communicates meaning in both narrative and non-narrative forms * uses appropriate and interesting vocabulary * shows some awareness of the reader * develops ideas in a sequence of sentences * sometimes uses full stops and capital letters to delineate sentences * usually spells simple monosyllabic words correctly, and where there are inaccuracies the alternative is phonetically plausible * in handwriting, forms letters accurately and consistently in size Major teaching emphases

* read, write and discuss a range of text-forms for different purposes and audiences, pointing out the main features of text-forms * teach children to plan and write both narrative and informational texts * model and draw children's attention to ways of sequencing sentences in order to extend ideas in a logical way * encourage children to choose words for variety and interest * teach strategies for learning to spell new words * introduce a proof-reading guide and encourage children to use it * teach revising, editing and proof-reading skills * teach punctuation and grammar in context through discussion of pupils' readingwriting * develop clear joined handwriting style Level 3 Writing

Key Indicators

The writer

* often writes in an organised way, imaginatively and clearly * uses the main gestures of different forms of writing appropriately * is beginning to adapt writing to different audiences * uses sequences of sentences to extend ideas logically * chooses words for variety and interest * generally uses correct grammatical structures for sentences * usually spells accurately, including common polysyllabic words * uses full stops, capital letters and question marks accurately to delineate sentences * writes in a joined legible hand.

Major teaching emphases

* continue to read, write and discuss a wide range of text-forms for a variety of purposes and audiences * help children adapt and improve their writing to suit the intended purpose and audience * help children to develop and sustain ideas in their own writing * encourage imaginative use of vocabulary and help children explore alternative ways of expressing ideas * draw children's attention to different ways of forming complex sentences to extend meaning, encouraging the use of a variety of linking words * teach children to use organisational and linguistic markers such as paragraphs and adverbials * teach revising, editing and proof-reading skills * continue to teach punctuation and grammar in the context of pupils' reading and writing, with increasing attention to punctuation within sentences * encourage increasing speed and fluency in joined handwriting.

Level 4 Writing

Key Indicators

The writer

* writes in a range of forms in a lively, thoughtful way * often sustains ideas and develops them in interesting ways * organises writing appropriately for the purpose and audience * chooses vocabulary which is adventurous and uses words for effect * is beginning to use grammatically complex sentences, extending meaning * generally spells accurately, including polysyllabic words that conform to regular patterns * uses full stops, capital letters and question marks correctly and is beginning to use punctuation within the sentence * writes in a fluent, joined legible style

Major teaching emphases

* draw attention to elements of "style" - tone, rhythm, sentence structure, vocabulary - in pupils' reading and writing * provide opportunities for pupils to analyse, evaluate and structure an extensive variety of forms of text, both narrative and informational * discuss the specific effect of con-text, audience and purpose on written texts, with particular att-ention to formality and informality * encourage creativity and clarity in choice of words * teach the major spelling rules and show how word-origins and families are reflected in spelling * teach the major conventions of punctuation (including commas, apostrophes, direct speech) and paragraphing and help pupils see how these can help clarify their meaning * extend the range of pupils' planning and revision strategies * encourage pride in handwriting, and interest in adapting style to aid clarity of presentation

Level 5 Writing

Key Indicators

The writer

* writes in varied and interesting styles * conveys meaning clearly in a range of forms for different audiences * uses a more formal style when appropriate * chooses vocabulary imaginatively and uses words precisely * organises simple and complex sentences into paragraphs * usually spells words with complex regular patterns correctly * uses (usually accurately) a range of punctuation, including commas, apostrophes and inverted commas * writes in a fluent, joined, clear style, adapting it as appropriate to a range of tasks

ALL STAGES

* model good English language use * model writing every day * encourage pupils to reflect on their understanding, gradually building a complete picture of written language structures * ensure that pupils have opportunities to write for a variety of audiences and purposes * encourage pupils to share their writing experiences * encourage an interest in the English language, where it comes from and how it works * encourage pride in careful and attractive presentation of work * encourage pupils to read as writers and write as readers

Illustrations of children's work at each level from Consistency in Teacher Assessment: Exemplifications of Standards, published by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 1995

* Thanks to Alison Dewsbury and the Education Department of Western Australia for permission to use First Steps in compiling this material

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